Ralph Isenberg, Owner, Ya Ya Best Tex Mex Yogurt, Dallas, Texas
Ya Ya Best Tex Mex Yogurt may be the only frozen yogurt shop in the country with a Tex Mex theme, says owner Ralph Isenberg. Located in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, Ya Ya Best Tex Mex Yogurt opened in late 2018 and quickly became a hot spot for tourists, convention-goers, foodie adventurers and people in the Hispanic community drawn to unique flavors like Jalapeño, Chipotle Fruit Sour, Strawberry Hibiscus, Chamoy Passion, and Tarty Tamarind.
Ya Ya offers customers an interactive experience, encouraging them to sample flavors and ask about unfamiliar ingredients, which are displayed on a shelf above the counter. The shop’s bright interior displays art that blends Mexican and American cultures and its logo incorporates the colors of each country’s flag. The overall atmosphere of diversity and inclusiveness extends to one of its hashtags, #yogurtwithoutborders.
Ralph, a retired real estate developer and hotel manager, says the self-service yogurt industry is changing and operators are looking for new ways to generate sales. Novelty inspired by the food culture of Texas and Mexico is just the thing consumers want, but Ralph found himself one step ahead of his dairy and equipment supplier when he requested jalapeño-flavored yogurt.
He began experimenting with various ingredients and developed his own recipe with vanilla yogurt and jalapeño concentrate but it wasn’t until he stumbled upon The Perfect Purée’s website that he perfected it. Ya Ya’s website describes its trademarked recipe as “slightly warm when swallowed” rather than spicy. Vanilla-based yogurt with citrus accentuates the natural flavor of jalapeño without the burn by incorporating The Perfect Purée Papaya Puree for its natural cooling effect and The Perfect Purée Lemon Zest and Carmelized Pineapple Concentrate to offset the heat.
“That has to be my most unusual flavor,” Ralph says. “It starts warming up the top of the throat and by the time it reaches the bottom of the throat it’s gone.”
Papaya takes the same role in PaPaYa Tamed Chipotle, a blend of tart yogurt, The Perfect Purée Papaya Puree and The Perfect Purée Chipotle Sour blend with vanilla and almond added for mellowing effect.
Guava and Pear make a surprisingly good match in Mysterious Guava, a blend of coconut milk, non-dairy mango yogurt and four Perfect Purée flavors: Guava Puree, Pear Puree, Orange Zest and Lemon Zest plus a dash of ginger and other spices.
Chamoy Passion with The Perfect Purée Passion Colada blend is the hands-down favorite of local Hispanic culture, who makes up 65% of the population within a three-mile radius of Ya Ya Best, says Ralph.
“Chemically, I can’t explain all the things that happen but somehow the Chamoy (a spicy-sweet Mexican condiment) with The Perfect Purée Passion Colada blend is unbelievably rich and flavorful,” he says.
Ralph stocks his freezer with up to a dozen Perfect Purée flavors at a time. “What impressed me the most was The Perfect Purée’s willingness to send out free samples,” he says. “The Perfect Purée proved to be superior in every way imaginable.” For the Fourth of July, Ya Ya debuts Mangria, a Mango and Red Sangria frozen yogurt with habanero pepper.